Thursday 27 October 2016

Williams survives scare as Wozniacki crashes out

The pre-tournament shortlist of favourites for the French Open women's crown continues to shrink and for a while it looked as though the name of top seed Serena Williams would also vanish yesterday.

Shortly after former world number one Caroline Wozniacki was knocked out by Julia Goerges, meaning the third, fifth and sixth women's seeds have all departed before round three, 33-year-old Williams stepped on Court Suzanne Lenglen to face unheralded 21-year-old German Anna-Lena Friedsam.

It looked like a mis-match but 105th-ranked Friedsam gave the 19-times grand slam champion a torrid time, taking the first set off the American before a nervy Williams recovered to scrape into the third round 5-7 6-3 6-3.

Denmark's Wozniacki joined the exodus of women's seeds which includes Romanian third seed Simona Halep, last year's runner-up, and number six Eugenie Bouchard of Canada, losing 6-4 7-6(4) to Goerges on a blustery Phillipe Chatrier court.

Fourth seed Petra Kvitova survived her own trial, however, coming back to beat Spain's Silvia Soler-Espinosa 6-7(4) 6-4 6-2 despite 54 unforced errors.

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